Nothing says ’90s pop culture quite like an anthropomorphic animal with attitude. The same creative process that spawned the likes of Swat Cats, Biker Mice From Mars and Sonic the Hedgehog also gave rise to one of the PlayStation’s early success stories — a marsupial mascot named Crash Bandicoot.
Following four wildly successful outings at the head of the franchise, perennial Game of the Year contenders Naughty Dog took its leave of the series back in 1999, handing the once-mighty title to a string of far less capable coders. With Activision Blizzard splitting from the Vivendi Universal group earlier this year — and taking the Crash license with it — the mute bandicoot lost its only remaining link to those long-gone glory years.
Now, after a recent return to form – courtesy of Activision’s mobile-only Kart racers — the series is once again an industry-wide talking point. Last week Game Rant reported that the franchise appeared to be prepping for a switch back to Sony, following the revelation that Activision’s official Crash page had been taken down. It now appears however, that that small glimmer of hope has been extinguished, only to be replaced by another promising lead on the future of the series.
Speaking to Game Informer on Friday, an Activision PR rep clarified the situation, telling readers: “Activision owns Crash Bandicoot and we continue to explore ways in which we could bring the beloved series back to life.” Despite putting the kybosh on any ideas of a return to PlayStation exclusivity (not impossible) or a Naughty Dog reunion (highly unlikely), the episode has helped to raise the character’s profile, and alert Activision to the level of goodwill the franchise retains. This in turn, could lead to Crash being fast-tracked for another outing, where the studio may have been reluctant to do so before.
Curiously absent from last year’s PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Crash could be in for an altogether different reunion, thanks to the success of his Activision stable-mate and Skylanders star Spyro the Dragon. Despite pouring scorn on the idea of a cross-over back in February of this year, Guha Bala, studio head for Vicarious Visions, (the developers of Skylanders) didn’t outright deny the possibility of a Crash-themed appearance, stating only that Crash “is a very different personality to Spyro” and from Skylanders franchise in general. Bala didn’t go into any detail regarding these supposed differences, leaving many fans to wonder just what separates the two-platforming franchises.
Are you pleased to see Crash Bandicoot back in the news? Would you rather have Crash and friends return to Sony and the PlayStation format? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check in with all of the latest Crash Bandicoot news, right here on Game Rant.
Activision’s latest Crash title, Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2 was released in 2010, for iPhone and iPod Touch devices.
Follow Sam on Twitter @GamingGoo.